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“Beautiful views, quiet setting, friendly people”

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Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Certificate of Excellence
Cleveland, Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful views, quiet setting, friendly people”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

We took the Irish train from Dublin to Galway and drove to the lovely Ballinalacken Castle Country House in Doolin, County Clare. The rooms were large and nicely furnished. We stayed in room 16 with a field of wild flowers and a view of the ocean and the Cliffs of Mohr in the distance. It was a short drive to Doolin and 3 great pubs, however, the restaurant at the Castle is excellent and well worth the price. Cecelia and Declan were both knowledgable on EVERYTHING in the area. They were accommodating in every way, even allowing us to have breakfast a little early on the day we had to leave. There were lots of activities possible. Our daughters and niece went kayaking in a neighboring village and we took the walk along the cliffs of Mohr. We all took the boat ride to the cliffs and to the nearest Aran Island. My only complaints would be that the Internet was spotty (who cares?) and the stay was too short! Don't miss the tour of the castle!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Gypsyvol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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515 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

My wife and I held our wedding ceremony in Ballinalacken recently. It was just lovely, everything we had wished for, the location, food, service, wine, even to the appearance of their white horse and donkey for the photographs! We had a relatively small gathering of both extended families in attendance, most of whom also stayed in the hotel. Each person was very positive about all aspects of their stay. We had been unsure as to where to get married and we both wanted somewhere unforgetable, who doesn't?! Well Ballinalacken pressed all the right buttons. I love my food and the food we had was top class and was served just right from every aspect. It's a small exclusive hotel, so we weren't overrun with people. The location is very special, right in the Burren, on a hill, looking out at the Aran islands. We were lucky, we had blue skies, lovely weather which showed off the area fabulously. I know I'm biased, it was my wedding after all! But to be honest, with hindsight we couldn't have picked a better place for our occasion. We will return there often, full marks easily awarded.

Room Tip: The suites at the front have lovely views of the ocean, but to be honest, it's a small hotel, ea...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank William R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

Superb reception, lovely rooms, excellent location and a true pleasure to stay. Wish we had booked more nights here and stayed less time in Galway. Great launching point for the Cliffs with easy 15 min drive to entrance. A little out of town and not a safe walk due to narrow roads and no shoulder.

Room Tip: Room 7 has windows on 2 walls. Stupendous views!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mimiluk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
94 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

We had no trouble finding this hotel a few minutes drive north of Doolin. Our room was nice with a view of the countryside and sea. No dinner was serviced the night we stayed, but that was fine as we wanted to eat at a pub in Doolin. Breakfast was lovely and quiet. There was cooked to order, plus buffet. The owner gave us a lovely tour of the castle next door before we departed. I would recommend this hotel if you are looking for something quiet outside of the town of Doolin.

Our only quibbles were the amount of stairs to drag our luggage over to get to our room and the lack of reachable electrical outlets. There were four small sets of stairs. One outlet is is not enough when you are trying to charge two phones, two ipads and two cameras.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SugarCreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wotton-under-Edge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

Ballinalacken is a very comfortable hotel, upmarket but still feels friendly and comfortable. The bedrooms are large and comfortable and ours had a fantastic view over the Cliffs of Moher. Cecilia, Declan and their staff made us at home. Declan took one of us round the castle (the other couldn't do the stairs) and advised us on a great place to go riding, having called us to come and look at the stunning sunset. Cecilia was a fount of knowledge about what was on locally. The food was first rate.

Stayed May 2013
Helpful?
Thank DebbieE186295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

I spent nights in Radissons and Redcastle, and the legendary Lough Eske, But, with all their various charms, this place - Ballinalacken Castle Country House - is the out-and-out Best hotel experience of the entire trip.

Why? The people. Period.

As lush as this one was, or as modern as that one was, or as central as that other one was, all of our other destinations were... destinations. Their desks were accommodating, and polite enough. But, in the end, you were a butt in a bed - their interest in you was limited to fulfilling the transaction you had entered into with them.

Ballinalacken was chock full of People working there. And they made you feel like people too. This was the legendary friendliness of Ireland that I had heard about so much, and found so lacking in my accommodations. I have a lasting fondness for this hotel, and the people who work here - because they gave a darn about people. Rare and wonderful.

That alone would make Ballinalacken a stand out - but that's just the golden foundation. The scenery, at first glance, is beautiful. From the front of the building, look out across the town-lands to the Cliffs of Moher, the sea beyond, and the islands beyond that. Look toward the back, where the castle ruins stand foreboding. And yes - Declan will invite you for an adventure within it, ending in a vertiginous view from the very top across the surrounding area; it will be your purest look at the internal state of the ruins that dot the entire country - take the opportunity; it won't be repeated elsewhere.

But, like most of Ireland, the very best is 100 yards away from the beaten track.

To the left of the hotel is a small, featureless grassy incline. Climb it. You'll pass the hotel's manicure and into higher grass. Keep climbing. At the top, look across the end of the Burren - see the rocky crags and coast give way to Ireland's greenery, like the leading edge of a desert of stone. Anywhere else, you're either in it, or not. Here you can see them combine in a vista that should not be missed.

The appointments and decor of the hotel was wonderful, and perhaps better expressed by other reviews in this category.

Very simply, if you are looking for a place to stay in this area, this is the one. It is beautiful rooms, amazing vistas and peopled the warmest souls in Ireland. You deserve their care, and they deserve your custom.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Ledge, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2013

This hotel was the best we stayed at in Ireland. Declan and his wife were wonderful. All the staff were wonderful. Declan took us on an unforgettable tour of the castle behind the hotel. I needed an article of clothing washed and I so appreciated them offering to help me. The dining room and sun room were warm and inviting. The dinner and breakfasts were wonderful. We were never rushed and all staff were helpful to where we wanted to go. The pub in the hotel was cozy. Dennis demonstrated how to make a shamrock on top of a pint of Guinness. We were fascinated. We stayed there 2 nights but next time we return, I would like to stay for a week and travel out from there. This is the best of the best if you like warm, cozy, friendly staff, with lovely rooms, lovely sheets. Wonderful duvets, and great food.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kimberlee K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballinalacken Castle Country House

Property: Ballinalacken Castle Country House
Address: Coast Road R-477, Doolin R477, Ireland
Phone Number:
Location: Ireland > Province of Munster > County Clare > The Burren > Doolin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Doolin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ballinalacken Castle Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ballinalacken Castle Hotel Doolin is one of the leading Castle Hotels Ireland with views of Cliffs of Moher. This Clare Hotel has an award winning restaurant and is the best place to eat in Doolin. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful place on the West Coast of Ireland in which to wake up. The Ballinalacken has been described in the press as one of the finest located houses in Europe. Our guest rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay. A 15th Century Castle ruin of the O'Brien Clan stands imposingly beside the Ballinalacken Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel Doolin
Ballinalacken Castle Country Hotel
Ballinalacken Castle Country Doolin

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